Bastions

Kingdom of Dogs

Written by: DR on 17/03/2010 13:49:27

So, so many bands decide to write a long drawn-out piece of pompous shit full of hyperbole that declares Band X to be the new face of Genre X. Does anybody with more than two brain cells ever buy into them? I cannot remember the last time I saw a band promote themselves by not embellishing their abilities with ridiculous rhetoric. Until now. All this group have is "We're Bastions from Anglesey, we have a new record, 'Kingdom Of Dogs'." Why can't more bands have blurbs like that?

Scrap that. Why can't more bands be like Bastions? Period. What they are is: pretty fucking awesome. But, how do they achieve such awesomeness? They play a very raw and very pure style of hardcore; no frills, no groove-laden riffs, no over-the-top breakdowns and only one song is over three minutes long - the entire album lasts only 16 minutes. It's this back to basics approach that makes their sound become urgent and in your face. When you've got a guitarist throwing out chugging riffs, a drummer who is just hell bent on pounding the shit out of something and a psychotic sounding screamer such as Jamie Burne who has all the ferocity of a Tasmanian Devil, you can't really go wrong.

"Crooked Hands" starts this album with direct drumming and Burne bellowing, before slowing the pace down slightly and then ending with gang shouts. They don't give you any time to catch your breath between tracks, which helps to maintain the intensity. The opening to "Her Casket Holds No Bones" is a full-band assault later featuring more gang shouts, and a sludgy bridge until Burne wails on his own, signalling the end of the song. Six out of seven songs follows similar angry and fast suits. The album finishes with noisy, unpleasant guitar feedback in the form of "Heir of the Dog", which is a pretty disappointing, and somewhat pointless way close. It goes on for nearly three minutes, but I guess that's why the Skip Track function was invented.

This is a genuinely exciting album, free from the clutches of mediocrity, trends and triteness. There's a lot of emotion and angst to be heard here, meaning that if you are pissed off, and need a soundtrack to the act of smashing things up, or if you are looking to have your face kicked in by music, look no further than "Kingdom of Dogs".

8

Download: Crooked Hands; Nausea; Her Casket Holds No Bones
For The Fans of: Since By Man; Mesa Verde; Touche Amore
Listen: Myspace

Release Date November 2009
Tangled Talk Records

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